Send to

Choose Destination
Toxicol Sci. 2011 Mar;120(1):123-35. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfq363. Epub 2010 Dec 6.

Comparative proteomics and pulmonary toxicity of instilled single-walled carbon nanotubes, crocidolite asbestos, and ultrafine carbon black in mice.

Author information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99352, USA.


Reflecting their exceptional potential to advance a range of biomedical, aeronautic, and other industrial products, carbon nanotube (CNT) production and the potential for human exposure to aerosolized CNTs are increasing. CNTs have toxicologically significant structural and chemical similarities to asbestos (AB) and have repeatedly been shown to cause pulmonary inflammation, granuloma formation, and fibrosis after inhalation/instillation/aspiration exposure in rodents, a pattern of effects similar to those observed following exposure to AB. To determine the degree to which responses to single-walled CNTs (SWCNT) and AB are similar or different, the pulmonary response of C57BL/6 mice to repeated exposures to SWCNTs, crocidolite AB, and ultrafine carbon black (UFCB) were compared using high-throughput global high performance liquid chromatography fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (HPLC-FTICR-MS) proteomics, histopathology, and bronchoalveolar lavage cytokine analyses. Mice were exposed to material suspensions (40 micrograms per mouse) twice a week for 3 weeks by pharyngeal aspiration. Histologically, the incidence and severity of inflammatory and fibrotic responses were greatest in mice treated with SWCNTs. SWCNT treatment affected the greatest changes in abundance of identified lung tissue proteins. The trend in number of proteins affected (SWCNT [376] > AB [231] > UFCB [184]) followed the potency of these materials in three biochemical assays of inflammation (cytokines). SWCNT treatment uniquely affected the abundance of 109 proteins, but these proteins largely represent cellular processes affected by AB treatment as well, further evidence of broad similarity in the tissue-level response to AB and SWCNTs. Two high-sensitivity markers of inflammation, one (S100a9) observed in humans exposed to AB, were found and may be promising biomarkers of human response to SWCNT exposure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center